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Lib MPs disagree on far right activist



Two federal deputies are at odds over their meeting with far-right activist Neil Erikson at a 2018 Perth rally in support of white farmers in South Africa.

Erikson, who was convicted and fined for inciting contempt and ridiculing Muslims and was banned from Twitter and Facebook, claims to have met with the Australian deputies Ian Goodenough and Andrew Hastie.

While Mr. Goodenough says they had an inadvertent meeting with Mr. Erikson, Mr. Hastie says he is confident that he has not met him.

"A guy whose identity we did not know at the time who was dressed like a rapper approached the crowd with followers carrying a video camera," Goodenough told AAP.

"We had a brief meeting, but we did not discuss or agree to anything. As politicians, it's common for strangers to come to us.

Moore's MP had previously told The Guardian that he and Mr. Hastie had a brief meeting with Mr. Erikson at the Forrest Chase rally in Perth in April 2018.

"He came and there was a conversation," Goodenough said.

"It was a very brief meeting of what I saw, two to three minutes."

But Hastie, a deputy for Canning and chairman of parliament's intelligence and security committee, denied meeting Erikson, telling reporters on Tuesday: "I do not respond to defamatory questions and I will not get involved."

Later, he added in a written statement: "I never sought or agreed to meet with Mr. Erikson.

"I'm confident I did not find him on the day.

"I find your views disgusting and your views should not be given a platform."

Hastie thanked Google for removing a video posted by Erikson, which he said made "false and defamatory statements."

A photo posted on Mr. Hastie's Facebook page shows him attending the rally with Mr. Goodenough.

Hastie said he went there "in support of South African farmers fleeing the threat of violence."

Mark Dreyfus, Shadow's attorney general, said the two deputies had serious questions to answer.

"The rise of right-wing extremism in this country is cause for serious concern and instead of condemning it, liberals seem to be approaching it," Dreyfus said in a statement.

Australian Associated Press


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